category/family - perennial; Saururaceae
evergreen - Fall/Winter deciduous
size - less than 1' H x spreading clumps connected by stolons
growth rate - fast
sun - full to partial sun
soil - Adaptable, saline or alkaline
water - Regular to constant
flowers/fruit - white flowers in spring/summer
CA native - yes
Yerba Mansa is a spreading groundcover that has large, waxy, gray-green leaves that lay flat and form mats that from a distance look like a permanent pasture. This is a marsh and creekside plant, that is alkaline tolerant. It will only spread where the soil is moist, so can be easily contained in a dryalnd garden. Yerba Mansa is an excellent plant for water features. It can be planted in the water or along moist edges and will trail down along rock faces or fountain edges. It forms complete coverage for acres at Hungry Valley at the Top of I-5 above L.A. and at the Kern River Preserve in Onyx. Yerba Mansa is tolerant of extreme heat in the desert regions, cold in the higher elevations, as well as coastal conditions. It just needs water. Funny white flowers emerge on 1 foot high, slightly cone-shaped spikes that resemble a huge plantain. Leaves were utilized medicinally as a poultice to reduce swelling. Beautiful in spring and early summer. Ugly in late summer and winter. You can get around much of the winter ugly by either pruning back (a mower will work) the foliage or mixing with Eleocharis species , Satureja mimuloides, Iris species, etc.
Anemopsis californica tolerates alkaline soil, sand, clay, no drainage and seasonal flooding.